Top Tips for Passing Numeracy Skills Test

Louise, a Lower Primary teacher, has been working doubly or even triply hard with me for the last few months and she’s super close to passing it – she’s just needs one extra mark and she’ll be fully qualified, earning the same as her colleagues and be able to quick arse with her newly found skills.   Here are her “Top Tips for Passing Numeracy Skills Test” to help other teachers in her position pass the QTS Skills Test.

  • Know your timetables. If you find it difficult to recall them by rota use the easier ones to work out more difficult multiples. E.g.  to work out 6×7 start at 6×5 and work up to 6×7 or 6×8 work out 6×4 and double the answer.
  • Remember when simplifying a fraction try to divide it by 2 or 3 this will reduce the steps and not waste time during the test.
  • Ensure you do not make silly mistakes e.g. it asks for 2/5 and you work out 1/5 and enter that as your answer rather than doubling 1/5!!!
  • Try to book test in the morning as I have found that I am more alert and have not stressed about it all day.
  • Nearly all questions related to time are in the 24 hour clock. Practise converting times from analogue to twenty four hour clock.
  • Draw a time line when working out questions related so you can work back and check your answers.
  • Practise multiplying and dividing by 10 and 100. Moving the decimal to left to divide and to the right to multiply.
  • Learn basic fractions as percentages: 2/5= 40% or ¾= 75%
  • Learn percentages as decimals: 37%=0.37 or 45%=0.45
  • Practise listening to mental arithmetic test questions and writing down the key numbers the first time you listen to the question. Begin to work the question out as soon as the question has been repeated.
  • Practise, Practise , Practise the online test
  • This book is clear and only gives you information you need to know. Loads of tips and practise question that are different numbers but the same types of questions as the online test. When using the online material you can begin to remember the answers rather than working them out.
  • Use the material on the tda skills test site. There explanation are clear and give examples.
  • If time is an issue you can get a time extension by going to the doctors and asking for letter. Then fill in a form for special arrangements and send it with the letter.
  • I have found if you don’t use mathematic everyday that I forget or became slower at recalling simple facts, multiples or converting fraction to percentages. Try to practise every day between tests or tutoring session as this impact on how quickly you can work out answers and recall of simple facts. Speed is key to the mental arithmetic section of the test.
  • Use tutoring session to work on your weakest areas and Adrian is fantastic at finding ways to ensure you understand. I was a very visual learner and used cards to help me recall number facts, which help me understand mathematical concepts that had been a mystery to me for years!!!


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